Sleeping under the star lit sky may sound romantic, and far fetched within the scorching heat encompassed city, but head to any of the hill stations this summer and it might just become a reality! Maybe a tad bit adventurous too, if you’re up for the risk…. the reason being choc-a-bloc hill stations in India that are literally turning tourists away!
Well, we can’t blame them either… With heat wave intensifying in north India, popular hill stations like Nainital, Mussoorie, Shimla, Dalhousie and Manali are witnessing a huge influx of tourists, resulting in overcrowding, lack of parking spaces, traffic congestion and non-availability of stay options.
I was luckier a couple of years ago, during my family trip to Mussoorie. With our bookings well in place, a weekday entry into the hill station still spared us the tedious traffic queues, albeit, it did take us 2 hours over… Being warned against visiting the Mall road over weekends, was a dampener considering that the whole essence of living the ‘pahadi’ life was lost!
This year takes the vacay goals to another level! With the temperatures shooting through the roof, this summer hasn’t been too kind. Seeking clear chilly mornings and night light dotted mountains in the evenings, city crowd anticipated refuge in hill stations. Not so fast… some were left disappointed… with traffic jams stagnant for over 5 hours, impulsive travellers were left spending the night under the sky, literally, when hotels rang ‘Full’.
Not the picture of serenity and offbeat you had in mind? Well, add to that, Not just popular tourist destinations, the less populated places like Kanatal in Uttarakhand, Manikaran and Kasol in Himachal and other places are choked due to heavy influx of young tourists looking for some respite from heat.
When the Everest hasn’t been spared…… how far are hill stations?